Kent County Commissioner, Diane Jones, attends White House ceremony

Diane Jones (right) watching as President Donald Trump signs Waters of the U.S. Executive Order. Photo by whitehouse.gov

Witness to President Donald Trump’s Waters of the U.S. Executive Order signing

Commissioner Diane Jones (Center) at the nation’s capital with Matt Chase (Left), Executive Director of NACo, and Commissioner Bryan Desloge (Right), of Leon County, FL.

By: LISA LAPLANTE

Diane Jones, Kent County Commissioner from District 4, had a front row seat to a piece of history last month. She attended her first National Association of Counties (NACO) Legislative Conference from February 25 – March 1 in Washington, D.C. She didn’t expect what would happen when she got to our nation’s capital.

On Monday, February 27 Commissioner Jones received an email that read, “If you are receiving this email, you have been invited to the White House tomorrow (Tuesday, February 28) to participate in the Waters of the U.S. Executive Order signing ceremony.” There were over 2,000 Commissioners from around the United States at the conference; only 12 people were selected to go to the White House for this historic signing.

“I was honored, excited, shocked and grateful. It was my first NACo conference and I have never been inside the White House,” said Commissioner Jones. “The group went through security and we were in a waiting room until it was time to move to the Roosevelt room. No pictures were allowed in the waiting room, but I did notice the five volumes of books titled “Gerald R. Ford, Public Papers of the President, 1975-1977” on display. My heart filled with pride.”

Jones had jokingly taken a picture of herself meeting with a cardboard cutout of the President before recieving the surprise invitation to the White House.

The Roosevelt room (a meeting room named for Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Franklin D. Roosevelt) are located in the West Wing of the White House. Commissioner Jones noted the podium with the Seal of the President on the front, and after getting comfortable in the room, Commissioner Jones had a picture taken from the same podium where President Trump was going to make his comments. She commented, “This was a once in a lifetime opportunity, and I appreciated every moment of it. There was an open plan for where to stand. I thought right between the podium and the desk where he was going to sign the order would work well.”

 

Commissioner Jones knew she had to make the most of the moment. “I am short and knew I would struggle to see if I wasn’t in the front,” she laughed. “I ended up with a great place to watch the President of the United States present his remarks and sign the document. This experience will be remembered for the rest of my life.” She could be seen on national television during the President’s remarks.

Jones was able to choose a great place to watch President Trump present his remarks. Photo by Whitehouse.gov

 

 

District 4 includes the Townships of Cannon, Grattan, Oakfield, Vergennes and the City of Lowell.